The Inheritance Cycle: Amazon Comments

On, a few reviews that were posted after mine specifically mentioned my review or brought up some issues in opposition to the ones I posted, which I'd like to have a short session of replies to as well. Please note that some of them are quite old and might reference when the series was still planned to be a trilogy (it ended up with four books) and when I still worked in a bookstore (I don't anymore).

Here's one irate fan's opinion:

As for the editor who wrote the first review, FORGET HER! This is one of the best books you will ever read and I encourage you to pick up a copy IMMEDIATELY.

Heh. Forget me. If this was one of the best books I was to ever read, woe would be unto me, I say it verily. This reviewer also said that this book was better than Harry Potter and that it didn't matter that it was sort of predictable because it keeps you on your toes. Honestly I have to say I'm surprised I got through the whole book because it really did the exact opposite; rather than keeping me on my toes, it made me wish to lie down and groan a bit before falling asleep.

Another reviewer said the following:

For the people who gave this a 1... cant read, and you dont know what a good fantasy book is.

I've read a lot of good fantasy books, and yet I gave this a 1. But maybe this person is right. Maybe I "cant" read. That must be the problem; I can't understand what Paolini was writing and just don't know my ass from a hole in the ground. The person went on to recommend further reading with the following sentence: "If you like this book, I would recommend Tricksters Choice (tamora pierce), Lord of the Rings (JR Toilken), and Bartimaues (i dont know)." Scary. This person misspelled all of these entries, and yet I, as a person who gave Eragon a 1, am being accused of not being able to READ? Anyway, onward. . . .

Another reviewer specifically responds to my article:

I think this was a good book, and frankly it doesn't bother me that he once or twice wrote something like "Sorry," Brom apologized. Why let something like that get in the way of enjoying the book?

Once or twice would probably have not even been noticed by me. But this was just an example of the thoroughly amateurish and sloppy writing all through the book. I somehow doubt that if it had been once or twice I would have just made a snap judgment and judged it as worthless.

Here's someone else's opinion:

I'm giving this book five stars because--while one might find similarities between this and other fantasy works--you have to keep something in mind: What *hasn't* been done before? An author is hard-pressed these days to come up with an entirely original idea when practically everything has been done. Now really, it doesn't matter what this kid wrote about, people would still find something to pick at him for. It's a sad thing, but that's just the way the literary world works.

Believe me, there is a lot that hasn't been done before. And I'm not saying all works with influences (even when they're obvious) are therefore bad. I'm not criticizing it because it pulls heavily from Tolkien. I'm criticizing it because it does that and then adds nothing of its own; there is not a damn thing in this book that made me think, "Wow, original!" or "Nice new take on an old theme!" In other words, as I said above, if you're going to do something that has already been done by other people, you need a good reason to do it again. I mean, I wrote an extremely derivative work: I've retold the Sleeping Beauty legend from the bad fairy's point of view. But somehow I doubt anyone's going to read MY book and say "Oh, this has all been done before, there's nothing original in here." Incidentally I did not pick up this book hoping to be able to find something to pick at the kid for. I was the Kids' Department Head in a bookstore and I wanted to know whether to recommend it, and I had never--I mean NEVER--written a bad review of a book in public before this, so it's not like I'm this negative nancy sitting around waiting for people to screw up so I can point fingers and claim to be above them.

I'm sorry for the people who are criticizing this book for it's similarities to other works. I'm sorry that they can only pick up a book to criticize it, not to enjoy it for what it is. People also do not seem to understand that this book was intended for young adults to read and enjoy, not--and I apologize for the stereotype--the 45 year old obsessed fantasy novel reader to scrutinize and crucify in Amazon reviews. It is unfair to compare it to master fantasy works, especially Tolkien--the undisputed master of the fantasy epic.

A continuing of the previous review: Blah blah, here we have more criticism of people who have negative opinions of books that suck. Oh well. But I wondered here if I was being accused of being one of this stereotype. Not that it matters much, but I wrote that review when I was in my late twenties, and I am not an obsessed fantasy novel reader; I read very little high fantasy. Ad hominem attacks are always a sign that someone does not have a good argument or cannot think of one. And I think it's very fair to compare it to master fantasy works, since its author is attempting to emulate said works. I'm not saying that Paolini is SUPPOSED to be as good as an undisputed master on his first shot. But I am saying that Paolini is supposed to have a digestible book if he's going to have it published.

Another reviewer mentioned me, seemingly just to be snotty because my opinion differed:

"Just Ivy" (FL) says no typos were found. As a legal secretary & proof reader (a profession where a misplaced comma or typo can cost millions), I did find a few, although I wasn't actively looking (I was sort of on auto pilot).

A) I didn't say there WERE no typos, I said "I, a professional editor, did not notice a single typographical error." I wasn't actively looking either--if I were being paid to edit I might have paid more attention--but I also notice there were no examples offered here.
B) "Proofreader" is one word. So is "autopilot." And "a profession where" is bad grammar; it should be "a profession in which." I can be pretty snotty too! (This reviewer went on to say "When all is said and done, my only diappointment is that I have to wait until August 2005 to get 'Elders.'" The next book is called Eldest, and I've never heard of a "diappointment.")